Salvation Army music cornet layout

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by marc71178, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    Something I've often wondered is how bands adapt their traditional line up of Bb cornets (ie 4 solos, 1 rep, 2 seconds, 2 thirds) to the set up of just 3 cornet parts.

    How do other bands go about this?
  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    My preference: 3 solo cornets play the top, 4MD/Rep/1x2nd play the middle, 1x2nd/3rds play the bottom. Although it depends a bit on the piece and the scoring......
  3. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    We wnet with:
    4 solos
    rep and 2nds on the '1st' part
    and 3rds on the '2nd' part. Happily we have a great 3rd cornet team so this worked well for us!
  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Some SA arrangements are quite handy if a band is a bit short on the back row. I personally think that band set-ups could be a bit more flexible to accommodate shortages in some quarters.
  5. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    As a rule of thumb I always start from front row on "solo cornet", rep+top 2nd on "1st cornet", and bottom 2nd+3rds on "2nd cornet". But sometimes that needs adjusting, for instance 'Corpus Christi' by Robert Redhead where the score seems to suggest solos+rep on 2nd ("solo cornet" part divides into 5), with 2nds playing "1st" and 3rds playing "2nd" if that makes sense.

    The one point I would make (that I have seen and heard done too many times) is that having only the rep on "1st cornet" and the rest of the back row on "2nd cornet" is totally wrong and against how the composer would think of it. In many ways, the "missing" cornet part in SA scoring isn't 3rd cornet, it's repiano.
  6. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    In an SA band with 9 cornets, you'll often see 5 solos and 2 on each of the other parts, because of the large number of split solo cornet parts. I tend to think that the lower parts are often short-changed in this sort of set-up, though.

    It sometimes depends on the era in which the music was written. Much of the older pieces tend to have solo, first, second on independent lines (for example, one on each tone in a triad). Modern writers might write a three-way split in the solo cornet part, and then reinforce tonic and third with the lower parts. The rep player would likely need to alternate between solo and first cornet depending on the writing.

    Since the standard SA band is not limited in size as is a contesting band, you'll also see things like divisi solo horn, first baritone, and first trombone (very common), which can also be challenging for the standard contesting instrumentation. I've recently been looking at Erik Leidzen's meditation Richmond, which even has divisi in the second baritone, which means he was thinking a band with four baritones.
  7. Happyon2nd

    Happyon2nd New Member

    Thanks for your kind words Jess :)
  8. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Don't forget, as well, that the Triumph Series generally only has two cornet parts - as with horns - so you need to avoid an imbalance by having all your strongest players on the top part.

    When I played in the Divisional Youth Band I generally played first horn, but made sure I played the 2nd part if there was no solo. Previously, it was not unusual to find 4 or 5 stronger players on 1st and the 2 or 3 weakest on 2nd.
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    ...which could in turn explain part of the reason why salvationist lower-brass writing is generally so good. If you've more assets at your disposal and are therefore used to writing multiple parts for low brass, then I suppose it's more natural to write in some deeper low harmony and chordal bass-writing etc...?

    Just a thought.
  10. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    Very little chordal bass writing as a whole in SA music. certainly the bari and trombone lines are beefed up.
  11. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    We usually play 4 solos, 2 1sts, 3 2nds. If there's a combined solo/1st cornet part, as in the Triumph series, we have four 2nds.

    I don't understand why some bands play with one first cornet and four seconds, as it should be obvious from the number of divisi first cornet parts that that isn't how it's supposed to work.
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    . . . except that Erik Leidzen occasionally uses three part harmony in the bass ("Invincible Army" is one, if I remember), as has Bob Redhead and Kenneth Downie, quite frequently.

    Not particularly the basses - if I recall, the bass writing is fairly standard - but the most divisi writing I've come across is in Greorge Marshall's "Army of the Brave", where horns (Solo & 1st?) and baritones are frequently split, as well as 1st & 2nd troms.
  13. silkenrose

    silkenrose New Member

    How do SA bands split their cornet teams when playing music done for solo/rep/2nd/3rd cornets ?
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I can only speak for our situation at Hadleigh, but depending on who's there, the rep part would either go to one of the solo cornets (we've got five in all) or one of the first cornets, and then 2nd & 3rd would be covered by the remaining 1st cornets & the 2nds - when we're all there, we've got 3 1sts & 3 2nds, so there are enough players to cover.
  15. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I was mainly thinking of Kenneth Downie when I put that about Chordal bass scoring. But I've played a couple of meditations and a few hymn tune arrangements where the odd fifth-chord drops in for a bar or two.

    Even without tuba chords, most of the salvationist pieces I've played have some lovely deep low-end writing. Never having been part of the Salvation Army myself I'll admit that's probably limited my experience - so maybe it's just that a certain sort of Salvationist piece generally finds it's way into secular banding?

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